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There’s some relief coming to the bigger world

I’m floating between equally stalwart musings, while closely observing the struggle against doom affecting our pink champion of interconnection, Mallow, regrettably with only two flowers left on the whole bush, one gloriously radiant and the other in definite and irreversible decay, but still pretty. I’ve been falsely projecting the end of this years pink cycle for a while now but this plant keeps surprising me with yet another outreach, rather silly, considering it’s almost December.

Mallow has a long history of thousands of years as a herbal remedy for cough, sore throat, mouth ulcers, and respiratory problems such as bronchitis and whooping cough, broadly the symptoms of covid 19, and the stubbornness of this particular variety to let go, unlike its relatives we grow too but who have long since packed up their summer dresses and moved life somewhere else, roughly coincides with the announced availability of a vaccine against corona, sparking optimism there’s some relief coming to the bigger world. For ours to stick around so long provides, at least to my subconsciousness, a sense of protection that I’m grateful for and I surely admire its stick-to-itiveness. I hesitate to to confess it’s all in vain for I dried more than enough flowers and leaves to last us through wintery tea season, having learned my lessons about who knows best.

I obviously don’t share British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s fatalism about nature’s indifference to humankind, one of the more poignant themes in his famous poem ‘The Brook’ that he wrote in 1886 and that was chosen by my high school English teacher for us to learn by heart, apparently because it captures both the fleetingness of human life and the constancy of nature and for the deeper meaning his seemingly sweet poem gives to beauty.
Its refrain, depicting the transience of mankind versus the ever-remaining nature, appears four times throughout the poem, yet in my mind over the years this stanza has lingered:

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow

By linking beauty and medicinal power with meandering magic, our Mallow became a true muse.


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